by Max Brantley
The Little Rock Police Department has released the initial incident report on the fatal police shooting yesterday of Deon Williams, 26.
The report identified the officer who fired the fatal shots as Terry McDaniel. We provided his identity yesterday and mentioned his role last year in shooting an armed burglar who had earlier killed one person and wounded another in a daytime home intrusion in Capitol View.
The basics of the report are the same as those released yesterday. McDaniel and his partner — Grant Humphries — initiated a traffic stop on 12th Street because McDaniel believed the eight-year-old Suburban that Williams was driving fit the description of a vehicle reported stolen. He also said he thought its tag might have been expired. It carried a 2013 license plate, the report says, but I haven't been able to learn yet if it was out of date. Sgt. Cassandra Davis confirmed for the Times yesterday that the car was not stolen, but belonged to the mother of Williams' child.
Willams ran from officers. McDaniel gave chase on foot. When Williams "displayed a firearm," McDaniel shot him fatally. As yet, no witnesses to the shooting itself have surfaced, though a number of people saw the beginning of the chase. Police say Williams discarded suspected drugs in the chase and that the pistol he carried fell from his waistband before he picked it up and faced the officer. Williams was recently paroled on drug charges. It's easy to speculate he ran rather than being found with drugs and a gun in his possession.
The investigation remains under police investigation and a report will be presented to the prosecuting attorney to determine whether the shooting was justified. The officers are on administrative leave.
The shooting at midday on a busy stretch of 12th drew a large crowd angry over what was the third fatal police shooting in a year, not long after a Little Rock jury failed to convict another Little Rock officer on a charge brought after he shot a suspected car burglar. The crowd also was inflamed by the recent Florida verdict in the Trayvon Martin slaying.